Necessity of respect and understanding for each culture – Ghana

Hi I am Ai Sasaki, working as a financial planner in Japan.

I traveled Ghana last November, it was my third travel. My understanding for Ghana has become deeper day by day. In the first travel which was a hard travel in a rural area I got a culture shock and my health condition became unstable. (If you want to know more see the first travel Ghana

In the second travel I stayed in Accra, state capital of Ghana, for almost one month. Enough time gave me latitude to enjoy local food & life and understand Ghanaian people’s nature, religions, business, banking, etc. 

Roasted Tilapia
Hibiscus tea “Bissap”
Local fruits
Fresh salad
Groundnut soup
Jollof rice


I tried to meet many people as much as I can. I tried to network to some foreigners running business in Ghana through social networking service(SNS) and got appointments before going to Ghana, and visited them. Let me add one thing here. We are easy to connect on SNS globally today but SNS is just first step to connect, then at least we should find their official website or blog to know the reality of their activities. Another way to connect is to get introductions from your reliable contacts. I made several networking opportunities by myself but some opportunities were given by the introductions from my contacts. I visited some Japanese companies and JICA(Japan International Cooperation Agency) too. We have already some local network through my partner Donald, but I understood foreigner’s network is also important to do good job.  In fact I began to feel an affinity to Ghana through the experiences of the second travel, ever since I have continued to get information from our contacts and online.

Due to make cross border business and investment to be profitable we have to know technical matters which are laws & regulations, cost of doing business, tax, workforce, infrastructure, etc. but also it would not be realized without respect and understanding for each culture. I have stood as a middle person of the dealing between Ghana and Japan last one year, I think so very much. Now I think my position should be called “Bridge Person”, not middle person.

What is culture? Generally it is said that is the way of life of a particular group of people at a particular time, traditional custom, knowledge, value, communication and language, food, art, music, clothes, belief, time sense, standard, human relations, etc…..basis of action.

I, personally, can feel closer to Ghanaian culture than ordinary Japanese because of my religion and my partner, Donald. We are a trans-cultural couple. We have a wide capacity to adapt to different culture and can interpret Ghanaian culture in English and Japanese. Donald knows well how to explain in simple English to non-native English speakers because of me.


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